Digital Equity and Inclusion at home in Western Massachusetts.

TecSalud invited to participate in the Alliance for Digital Equity of Western Massachusetts

Live scribe diagram of the day's highlights. A live scribe actively listens to participants and summarizes the best themes through visual representation, images, and text.
TecSalud is now a part of the Alliance for Digital Equity of Western Massachusetts. We attended the first in person all partner convening this week to discuss opportunities and challenges to
addressing the digital divide through increased access to all things digital. It was a packed day of meeting and learning from a diverse and dynamic attendee list, all gathered to collaborate on the plan to define what success means for digital equity in the region.
A few key thoughts: 
  • Even in a state with nearly 98% of residents having access to broadband internet, there are many issues that remain with affordability, reliability, and speed.
  • Digital equity doesn’t just mean access to a device and the internet. 
    • Even with the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) high-speed internet remains expensive. Of course, a $30 bill credit is helpful, but does not necessarily mean a significant discount on a broadband speed that is acceptable for all families’ needs.
  • Access to critical digital content is a challenge with many layers. Content that is multilingual, adapted for all literacy levels, that provides information about community services, transportation, health, insurance and job seeking are some areas that need to be addressed through this coalition and beyond.
  • There is a major need for improved access to Spanish language capacity building and digital resources in this region. Several large communities here are predominantly Spanish speaking. We’ll be drafting ideas for the development of Spanish-first digital navigator capacity building(as opposed to English content translated into Spanish) specifically for healthcare, community advocacy, and job training. 
  • There is a critical need for internet and digital footprint safety training for all, including how to detect potential fraud or scams online and over the phone. This is a growing issue with many false companies reaching older adults to sign them up for health insurance and should be addressed through digital, analog, and in person channels.
  • With the rise of telemedicine access through Massachusetts insurance plans, there is also a potential risk in widening digital divide, not just in access to services but in trust in the system. Individuals with slower internet and a rocky relationship with the healthcare system may not be as open to trying telemedicine without support of navigators and outreach workers. There is a major opportunity to bring many of the Coalition’s community partners together to build a telemedicine equity plan. At TecSalud, we are evaluating ways to use existing tools to help people with lower tech literacy prepare for their appointments.


We look forward to participating in more local Massachusetts coalition meetings, events, and projects in the future. 














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